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  • Writer's pictureWUCT

BUCS Sprint Triathlon 2022/23

It was an early start to bank holiday Monday with a coach full of bikes and almost everyone remembering their helmets. We descended on Westonbirt house with a fantastic 21 of us ready to take on the challenge (many of whom it was their first triathlon!), up from just nine last year! We surveyed the competition ready to start, some of us perhaps a bit starstruck by a certain French Olympian but spirits were high.

The first two waves saw nine from Warwick. First to emerge from the pool was Josh to the surprise of many with his last-minute swim training clearly paying off. A string of athletes in Warwick red followed with Dan L narrowly losing a pre-race bet to Lewis, George definitely not being blamed post-race for his pool antics as well as some uncertainty over exactly how many lengths Lewis completed. Aaron and Theo followed 10 minutes later in hot pursuit from the second wave.

The pothole ridden bike course saw an early crash from Thiago with some deep cuts, but nothing was going to stop him getting round on the trusty Carrera. Dan again showed us his bike prowess with the fastest bike split from Warwick and a great run to be the first to finish. Our cycling captains Josh and Lewis came in next with a strong bike from Josh the difference between them: a 5k personal best from Lewis not enough to close the gap. Aaron flew into T2 and showed his marathon training had carried across to triathlon with a great final run catching many from the first wave. Former president George got round although some might say a couple of coach Jack’s sessions could have helped him along: a well earnt post-race burger was never in doubt.

Saurav and Abbas fought their way round the bike and final three lap run to come home to complete their first, hopefully of many, triathlons. Theo could be heard all the way round the bike course, his chain the culprit on this occasion without even a mention of a pub. Thiago was swiftly taken to Coventry hospital to get checked out by Josh (massively appreciated) but luckily nothing other than a few battle scars were found.

Next to start was our triathlon captain Thomas, who took more time explaining his slower swim time than actually swimming. A strong T1, helped no doubt by his transition session, saw him out onto the bike. Finn emerged from the pool looking strong although an early back injury out on the bike unfortunately saw his race end early, revenge to be had at BUCS standard later this term I’m sure. Ollie and Matt had solid performances in the water and soon headed out from T1 as Thomas returned on his bike. With shoes flying everywhere, he started the run without a helmet for once and a sprint finish saw him beat Dan’s time by just 15 seconds. Ollie flew round the bike course and not even a stitch on the run was going to stop the WUAXC president from holding the fastest time of the day from Warwick. Not making it to track recently didn’t seem to stop Matt from having a good run. By this point Lewis and Theo had already been scouting the local pubs but the racing proved too exciting to miss a beat.

Jack and Oliver WJ were neck and neck out of the swim, but both provided some of the performances of the day. Jack roared round the bike course to make sure he was well ahead of any challengers and secured the second fastest Warwick time. Ollie WJ improved his time by an impressive four minutes from last year - all the training has not been for nothing. Despite feeling ill, Albert showed why he was last year’s triathlon captain with a decent performance all round, especially digging very deep on that run. Still enough to defeat bitter rival from Durham, Oliver Albert, in the battle of the names and I’m sure he’ll be back stronger than ever next time. Jonathan and Dan M were our final male competitors, and it was a close one between them, with Dan’s run proving decisive as he narrowly edged out Jonno with both receiving fantastic support from all.

Now it was time for the Women’s race with the sun making an appearance causing some to ditch the t-shirts in true British fashion. Lucy and Tasha made their way down to the start feeling nervous but once they started the competitive spirit kicked in to get them through. Lucy was first to start, she came running up into T1 and after remembering how helmets worked she was out onto the bike. Former cycling captain Tasha followed 10 minutes later, ready to make up lost ground on the bike. She clearly did as both returned into T2 with nothing to separate them and after some quick transitions, were out onto the run. Tasha went off hard but Lucy’s even pacing strategy was the clear winner this time as she slowly extended her advantage with an impressive run.

Katie was our final individual athlete and with lots of recent purchases some would have argued it was a bit of all the gear, no idea. However, that was not to be as she completed the 16 lengths of the pool and ran up to T1 in no time. We waited and it wasn’t long until the pink TT bike appeared at the dismount line. With fantastic support from both WUCT and other teams, she zoomed round the run just narrowly missing the time set by Tasha.

The final event of the day was a mixed relay, preceded by a very informative briefing. With Albert feeling unwell, Jack was called upon as super sub to round out a team of Ollie C, Tasha and Katie. The relay consisted of a mini triathlon each with a hand over of the timing chip in between.

Ollie was to start us off strong and despite a chain drop on the bike still delivered an excellent leg and handed over to Tasha. This was to be Tasha’s fourth race in as many days but that wasn’t to stop her. She came out the water and a very smooth jump onto the bike had everyone impressed; we’ll not comment on the time it took to get those shoes on. Back in her element she delivered a fast bike time and not even some cramp on the run was going to stop that chip getting to Jack. Jack looked like a man possessed as he left T1, and it was not long at all until he was back to hand over to Katie. Having not had too much rest in between the main race and mixed relay, Katie delivered a very strong performance to see Warwick to a solid 10th place overall. Loughborough will be quaking in their boots next year!

Thanks to DBMax for an excellent day out and a great sign for the club moving forward with so much growth from last year. Special mention to our president Henry for supporting all day and posting some excellent Instagram stories for others to follow along. Some efficient packing of the bikes by George had us back home in no time to enjoy some well earnt rest.

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